U-21 SEMI: EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

It’s hard to pick a winner from the field assembled for the British Under-21 semi-final at Arlington on Saturday (April 7).

There are some who will go to tapes at 7.30pm among the favourites but there are plenty of others in the field who can upset the odds, writes Paul Watson.

The hot favourites could drop points to each other and then misfortune and an upset could see one struggling to get into the top seven and a place in the British U-21 Final at Birmingham.

Three riders from the Premiership will be the favourites to go through and probably occupying the three rostrum places.

They are Max Clegg, James Shanes and Zach Wajtknecht.

For my money, the other four qualifiers will be Josh Bailey, who learned to blitz Arlington during his brief spell with the club last year, the Forman IT Eagles’ Tom Brennan, Jordan Jenkins and Connor Mountain.

Where might the upset come from?

Luke Ruddick and new Eagle Jason Edwards will be snapping at people’s heels.

And, lurking in the pack, maybe a real spoiler who will pull out a stunning ride or be in the right place at the right time if one of the “stars” hits trouble.

Unpredictability is the very nature of racing at this level and those who want to make progress to the final will need a cool head in the heat of battle.

1 Max Clegg, 2 Luke Ruddick, 3 Drew Kemp, 4 Tom Brennan, 5 Lewis Whitmore, 6 Jamie Halder, 7 Matt Marson, 8 Connor Mountain, 9 Josh Bailey, 10 James Shanes, 11 Luke Harris, 12 Ryan Kinsley, 13 Jordan Jenkins, 14 Jason Edwards, 15 Charlie Brooks, 16 Zach Wajtknecht. Reserves: 17 Jamie Bursill, 18 James Laker.